An Organization for High-Level Interactive Control of Sound

November 1st, 1994

Categories: Applications, Devices, Software, Sound Art


Das, S., DeFanti, T., Sandin, D.


Many researcher have created systems, languages, and paradigms for creating sound with the aid of computers. In the past, the utility of these systems for real-time work has been limited to either using very simple algorithms or controlling special-purpose hardware.

For many purposes, MIDI-compatible synthesizers suffice for the sound generation hardware. However, these devices tend to be limited, both in the range of sounds of any one unit, and especially in the area of interactive control. Only very recently has the computing power of general-purpose computers become equal to the task of producing reasonably complex sound with good fidelity, in real-time.

Given hardware and software capable of generating the types of sounds desired, perhaps a more difficult problem is the organization and control of these sounds into the temporal sound structures we recognize as rhythm, melody, harmony, and musical form. Although these are musical terms, the same capabilities are needed if we are to encode information into sound in a way that the user of a system can comprehend.


Das, S., DeFanti, T., Sandin, D., An Organization for High-Level Interactive Control of Sound, Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display ’94, Santa Fe, NM, November 1st, 1994.